In his book, “Don’t Give Up an Inch,” he recounted his frantic diplomatic efforts at night to persuade neighbors to stand down after receiving a call from his “Indian counterpart,” warning him that he believed Pakistan was preparing nuclear weapons and India was considering escalating it.
External Affairs Minister during the crisis triggered by the terrorist attack that killed 46 Central Reserve Police Force personnel in February 2019 is the late Sushma Swaraj.
But Pompeo referred to his “counterpart” with the male pronoun in a later paragraph, creating ambiguity about who he spoke to.
“I don’t think the world properly knows how close the rivalry between India and Pakistan is to a nuclear conflagration,” he wrote.
But, he added, “The truth is, I don’t know the exact answer. I just know it was very close.”
He was awoken in the night while he was on a visit to Hanoi by a call from Sushma Swaraj who told him that he “believes the Pakistanis have started preparing their nuclear weapons for a strike”.
“India, he told me, is contemplating its own escalation. I asked him to do nothing and give us a minute to sort things out,” Pompeo wrote.
He wrote that working with John Bolton, then the US National Security Adviser, from their hotel room in Hanoi, he “reached the de facto leader of Pakistan. General (Qamar Javed) Bajwa”.
“I told him what the Indians had told me. He said it wasn’t true. As one might expect, he thought the Indians were preparing their nuclear weapons to deploy.
Pompeo added, “It took us a few hours, and our teams on the ground in New Delhi and Islamabad worked remarkably well, to convince each side that it had not convinced either side or the other not to prepare for a nuclear war.”
Taking credit for the de-escalation, he wrote: “No other country could have done it, but we did it that night to avoid a terrible outcome.”
He acknowledged the work of Kenneth Juster, then US envoy in New Delhi, calling him an “incredibly capable ambassador” who “loves India and its people”.
Pompeo, who was director of the CIA before becoming secretary of state, recounted in the book his four years in the government of former President Donald Trump.
The book, titled “Fighting for the America I Love,” shows how he vigorously implemented Trump’s “America First” vision.
Writing about his efforts to deepen ties with New Delhi, Pompeo said he had “made India the fulcrum of my diplomacy to contract Chinese aggression.”
“I have chosen to devote a great deal of time and effort to making India the next great ally of the United States,” he added.
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